The percentage of total visitors who come to the website, follow through after clicking on the company’s desired point of action (POA) and submit information, download a demo, make a purchase, etc. is the definition of website conversion. In an e-commerce application, multiple visitors will add items to their shopping carts, but a smaller percentage will actually make the purchase. The percentage of visitors that completes the transaction signifies the conversion rate for the website. In a lead-generating application, multiple visitors will follow a path that you desire for them to follow (at first), but will not complete the form, download, etc. The percentage that does signifies the conversion rate.
In order to boost the website conversion rate, companies need to determine why potential customers drop out at certain points in the process and eliminate these roadblocks in order to increase sales. Clearly defined POAs, intuitive navigation, and simple checkout processes all website conversion best practice make it easier for potential customers to buy, contact, download, or whatever else it is that you want them to do that will lead to a sale.
Point of Action Basically, the POA on your website is what you want visitors to do initially. Many websites will have more than one POA, so POAs are further broken down into primary, secondary, and even tertiary POAs. A primary POA (usually the most profitable action for a user to take) might be completing a purchase on the site while a secondary POA might be signing up for the site’s email newsletter announcing weekly specials. As a general rule, the marketing department (not the web designers) in consultation with sales should decide what the primary and secondary POAs will be.
Some websites have no clear POA and mainly serve as ‘brochure-ware.’ If a website doesn’t have clear POAs that guide users toward taking specific, valuable actions, those users are of course less likely to become purchasers.
Take Rate The number (or percentage) of visitors who show interest in your POA (i.e. click on a link to visit the site’s contact form), comprise your take rate. Say a B2B website is highlighting its downloadable demo as its POA; a visitor might click on that link to get to a download page. Whether or not they actually follow through with the download has no bearing on the take rate – the take rate merely demonstrates that there was enough interest for them to take the POA.